Darryl Andree, CAE
Associations are the backbone of all industries and their members, a diverse bunch. I often am asked how best to market to such a group, all unique in their very own way and each telling their own story. When it comes to 2019 marketing trends, the key is to always test new approaches. What worked yesterday may not work today and what worked today may not work tomorrow.
How can associations stay relevant in times of constant change and how do we connect business members and executive members? Naturally, business members want front row access to association executives. However, in the absence of value, what is the incentive for the executives to want to make new connections with these members? Executives recognize how much we can learn from business members as their various services can assist with association growth. As a business member of CSAE, I encourage all association leaders to listen and engage with their members.
If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it? If you have a secret sauce that engages your members, keep using the same recipe or commit to keeping things fresh. I love classic Italian pasta but not every night. Sometimes my taste changes. When you’re constantly dishing out the same meal your members become less engaged and retention can drop off.
Reach out to your members and ask for feedback on recent changes or news to help remind members that their loyalty is valued. Try reaching out with personalized communications. Although it may be easier said than done, I believe that face to face is the best way deliver a message. All marketing and communication need to be rooted with clarity and simplicity.
Social media is a great way to stay in touch with members in an easy and cost-effective method on a broad scale. Email has definitely been a challenge due to Canadian Anti-spam Legislation (CASL) and with the increase of email communication worldwide. Filling email inboxes decreases visibility. I personally have unsubscribed from companies that I love simply to make life less cluttered. Make your message stand out with a catchy subject title that grabs the attention of your members. Express the benefit of being a member with your association and constantly build the relationship. Invest in promotional products that delivers your associations brand. Consider a hand written thank you note to your members.
Associations that pay attention to their members will have greater success then those that guess what their members want.
Darryl Andree is the Business Development Manager at Brand Blvd. Aside from being a dog lover and wine enthusiast, he focuses on creating strong bonds between organizations and clients.